Report confirms human impact on global climate

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Science: A group of 78 authors in 24 countries has pieced together the most detailed evaluation of temperature changes during the past 2000 years.

The continent by continent findings indicate that a long-term cooling trend ended late in the 19th century with human activity the only driver that can explain the shift.

“The new results show that climate change is, as usual, more complicated than we expected: long, millennial natural cooling trends were punctuated by warming episodes that turned out to be more local than we thought,” said Paul E. Filmer of the US National Science Foundation.

“The natural forces driving the cooling are still present today, but since the nineteenth century an additional, stronger, warming driver has been added: human activity. We cannot match the temperature records since then without factoring in this new driver,” added Filmer. (The Carbon Brief)

Scientists combined date from ice cores, tree rings and other sources to produce a detailed temperature record for the last 2000 years (Source: Creative Commons/Rita Willaert)

UK: A cross-party report has warned the UK must close its coal fired power stations if it is to hit its emissions reduction targets. The report by Carbon Connect, which includes former Conservative Energy minister Charles Hendry, calls for gas to displace coal. (Financial Times)

Japan: After cancelling its 25% emissions reduction goal, Japan will take a backseat at the UN climate negotiations this year. Prime Minister Abe told a business lobby that a new plan would be drawn up from scratch but there are concerns that it is taking too long. “It has been two years since the Great East Japan Earthquake,” an Environment ministry official said. “We cannot keep saying forever that we are still in the middle of the reviewing process.” (The Asahi Shimbun)

Norway: Norway’s Labour Party has said it would approve an impact assessment for drilling around nearby Arctic islands. No decision on Arctic exploration is expected until after September’s elections. All three parties have now backed the plan however. The country’s oil production will hit a 25 year low this year and it is keen to investigate the potential around the Lofoten islands, despite opposition from environmentalists and the tourism industry. (Reuters)

USA: The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) could use existing pollution regulations to guard against climate induced ocean acidification, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The EPA already uses air pollution laws to limit greenhouse gas emissions and could use the Clean Water Act to protect marine life from rising acidity levels linked to higher concentrations of carbon dioxide. (RTCC)


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